Pearnel pushes education in North Central Clarendon
Member of Parliament for Clarendon North Central Pearnel Charles Sr is on a campaign to improve education outcomes in the constituency.
The veteran parliamentarian has spent $47 million on education from his Constituency Development Fund allocation in the past three years, and told The Sunday Gleaner that education, health and road infrastructure are his main priorities.
Charles has made contributions towards books, uniforms and tuition to more than 1,500 students from the basic to tertiary levels in the constituency and says many more are set to benefit.
In his latest intervention at the Sir Donald Sangster Community Centre in Summerfield, tuition assistance, uniform materials, notebooks and book vouchers were issued to 258 people.
"As you know, education is the vehicle to upward social mobility. Even our annual Labour Day projects, working alongside community members, are mainly geared towards improving our school environments," said Charles.
"Approximately 17 schools have been assisted with desks, chairs, books, paint and sports gear. Also, with assistance from Food For The Poor Jamaica, two basic schools have recently been built, one in Gordon Wood in the Rock River division and the other in New Ground in the Chapelton division," he added.
The constituency is now hosting the second in its annual Camp Jamrock Summer Camp where approximately 375 children between the ages of six and 17 are enrolled.
According to Charles, the intention is to build and improve exposure, awareness and soft skills for campers through fun activities, such as jewellery making, self-defence, art and craft, music making and sporting activities.
He noted that presenters from agencies, including the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the Child Protection and Family Services Agency, are among those who have been engaging the campers.
Last year, Flow Jamaica provided five $10,000 scholarships to students who excelled at the camp.
Charles Snr pointed out that the older students and unattached youths have not been left out as a job fair was recently held where state agencies, including the HEART Trust/NTA, the Social Development Commission, and the Apiculture Unit in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fishery provided information.
The youths were introduced to rÈsumÈ writing, interview best practices and acceptable conduct and attitude in the workplace.
They were also introduced to the HEART Trust/NTA apprenticeship programme that grants the opportunity for job experience to unattached youths between the ages of 18 and 30.
"While I am proud of all that has been done to improve that education levels in the constituency, one of my proudest accomplishments is the reading competition that I started 10 years ago with 20 students," said Charles.
"It has since been dubbed the Reading and Comprehension Competition, with 240 students competing this year 2018. All participants received certificate of participation, 30 students received trophies for excellent performances.
"It has been reported by the teachers that this competition has improved the overall educational standard of many of their students," added Charles.